This is one of a series of articles written by eminent clinicians for the purpose of extending information concerning the official medicines. The twenty-four articles in this series have been planned and developed through the cooperation of the U. S. Pharmacopeial Committee of Revision andThe Journal of the American Medical Association.—Ed.
The proper use of mercury compounds as diuretics in the treatment of dropsy was a pertinent subject for discussion more than a century ago. Blackall1 and Bright2 were opposed to the indiscriminate use of mercury preparations in cases of renal dropsy, while Barlow1 and Prichard1 found them helpful in a number of such cases. In 1886 Jendrássik3 showed that administration of mild mercurous chloride (calomel) in cases of cardiac edema caused marked diuresis and an increased excretion of chlorides. Calomel immediately came into vogue as a diuretic in
KEITH NM. THE ACTION AND USE OF DIURETICSWITH ESPECIAL REFERENCE TO MERCURIAL COMPOUNDS. JAMA. 1936;107(25):2047–2051. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.92770510003009
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